Fireworks erupted over the freezing South Lake Tahoe sky, but the crowd at the annual SnowGlobe Music Festival seemed to remain warm enough, with mosh pits erupting during Skrillex’s headlining set to usher in the new year.
Over the three-day festival, more than 50 performers had taken the three stages. EDM and hip-hop prevailed, but much of it seemed secondary to the excited festive atmosphere that spilled outside of the stage areas and crossed the grounds.
Numerous totems, hoop dancers, costumed and matching groups — and outfits taking winter gear into all directions of goofy, sexy, fun and illuminated — filled the areas in front of the stages, while after-dark lasers, lights flames, confetti and fireworks all had their moments to fill the air and surrounding pine forests.
MTV’s acquisition of the festival about a year ago didn’t appear to bring any drastic changes. However, the environment had a slightly more commercial feel to it, with different companies and brands sponsoring booths and lounges and making sure to display their names. This year also brought some changes in terms of a few more art installations around the grounds.
A slight rearrangement of the grounds aimed to better appease neighbors with sound complaints, resulting in an even larger Igloo Stage tent. That stage house the majority of house- and techno-leaning producers. This year it was filled with performers such as Neil Frances, SG Lewis, LP Giobbi and Doja Cat, with lights splayed across the tent’s interior, bouncing off of the disco balls on the ceiling.
The Sierra Stage, the more intimate of the outdoor stages at the festival, had performers such as Deathpact, Elohim, GG Magree, Whethan, Vanic and JPEGMAFIA. But the largest performances and crowds were those at the mainstage each night for Louis The Child, Tchami x Malaa, Zhu, Fisher, CloZee, Griz and Skrillex (one of the biggest names in electronic music).
Skiers and snowboarders launched off of a big air ramp and slid down rails on either side of the main stage between performers, and MTV celebrity hosts walked the grounds, joking and dancing with the crowd between filming segments for the TV network’s coverage of the festival.
Even the weather seemed to cooperate this year, with no real snow falling and temperatures about 10 degrees higher than last year’s event. Fireworks closed each night of the festival, and the Dec. 29-31 event, which brought 2019 to an end, lived up to its reputation of mixing an underground list of performers with names and music that can light up a wintry night.
— Shaun Astor